Reserve Bank data released Tuesday revealed housing credit growth for December rose 0.3% - the softest result since February 2021.
On an annualised basis, housing credit growth through 2022 hit 6.5% overall - 6.9% for owner occupiers and 5.5% for investors.
According to Westpac economist Ryan Wells, these are some of the softest figures since the Global Financial Crisis.
"The story over 2021 and into 2022 was that households and businesses borrowed more, responding to substantial policy stimulus. Record low interest rates and generous tax incentives for business investment provided a strong tail wind for the Australian economy," Mr Wells said.
"A policy u-turn is well underway. The RBA has quickly removed ultra-easy monetary policy, shifting towards a contractionary stance, to fight a significant inflation challenge. The tightening of policy is reducing demand for credit - across households and, in turn, businesses."
Through 2022 the RBA hiked the cash rate eight consecutive times for a total of 300 basis points (3.00%).
This is the fastest rate of hikes since 1994, when the cash rate was hiked 275 basis points in four months.
CBA economists expect credit growth to moderate further, with the RBA tipped to hike the cash rate next week for February.
"[There] is a slower pace of debt repayment as a higher share of repayments, and disposable income are devoted to interest rather than principal," senior economist Belinda Allen said.
"The slowdown in the pace of credit growth with other indicators of the activity side of the Australian economy highlight a slowdown in activity is underway. We continue to expect below trend growth in 2023 and this suggests the peak in credit growth is behind us."
ANZ economists expect year-on-year growth to halve in 2023, but there could be an upswing in 2024.
"We expect housing credit growth to slow sharply this year as borrowing capacity constraints reduce housing lending and falling housing prices discourage sellers from listing properties for sale," senior economist Adelaide Timbrell said.
"The slower pace of repayment of some mortgages due to higher interest rates will limit the 2023 slowdown. In 2024 we expect some acceleration of housing credit growth as the market turns."